Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lots to do, New ideas...

Wow, time flies. I know, I know... I've been so terrible at posting! I wish I were better at it. I wish I had more time, but for some reason I just don't have enough of it each day.

Christmas was spent with our kids and the littlies! If you have grandbabies, you know how I love those times!

Sophie's note to Santa

One of her favorite gifts... an Indian doll from Great-Nana

Another favorite gift... a tea set that her Daddy used to play tea with when he
was about her age (yes, boys like to have tea too!)

A boy (Max) and his dog keep watch for Santa

So Christmas has long come and gone, and its already the first of February. We've had a very mild winter here on the California coast. Very little rain, and the reservoirs are looking quite dry.

The up-side of a mild winter is that I can work in the garden all winter long. The down-side is that when summer gets here and there isn't enough water... it won't be a happy time!

So I'm planning ahead and doing every thing possible to save water, deliver water directly only at the roots through a drip system, and mulching heavily to keep moisture in.


After Christmas my sister's two DIL's talked to me about an idea... (my DIL doesn't live near us, but my sister's do, so we see them alot).

Would it be possible for me to grow enough produce to feed their families too?
They'd be happy to pay me...

I've never thought of doing it for anything but own joy of gardening, and to supply my own family with produce... but what a fun idea this was!

So I've been thinking... ALOT!

And I've been planning... ALOT more!

Oh, and they want me to get more chickens because they whenever they're here, they love eating my eggs... and they want true free range eggs too. (:

What would we have to do to supply eggs for 3 or 4 families? ALOT! That's what! But I think I'm game for it! Now I just have to convince hubs to make a second coop and wire run... yep, he's excited about that one! You can imagine...

Soooo, I've been clearing and leveling the spot where it will go... hoping he's convinced by how hard I've worked... and kick in! (;

Since we live on the California coast, where we get alot of fog in the summer, I need a greenhouse in order to grow tomatoes, peppers and aubergine... all the heat loving plants.

I've scrounged most of the materials needed to build it. See those lovely arched windows leaning against the old greenhouse below? Aren't they beautiful?! I got them for FREE at the local landfill. Someone was throwing them out! They will make a wonderfully designed greenhouse!

We finally got enough rain a few weeks ago, that fires are now allowed to burn garden slash.

I went hunting online for ideas about how to set up a plan to provide produce for several family. I found the CSA plan... Community Supported Agriculture.

A farmer (me) produces the crops and sells shares of produce for a price, available each week. Each family can decide how many shares they'll need for their family and place their order. I'll probably adjust a few things, but I like this idea!

I haven't been so excited for a long time!

I know it will be alot of work, but I love this kind of work...
AND I won't need a gym membership, since my gym is out in the garden. (:

So this is the beginning of my year

And my New Year's resolution?

Post my progress at least weekly...

We'll see how well I keep that resolution!

~ That's it for now~

Monday, October 31, 2011

From Dear Down Under!

~Look what was in my mailbox today~

Thank you Dear Dzintra!
How did you know I love bugs!?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It all started...

It all started...

at the flea market!

...with an ORANGE HAT!
(made by a Mom who had a cute little red haired baby)

How could I resist?

It would look so great
on the head of a cute little red haired girl I happen to know!

...then I thought to myself...

I've gotta have something to go with that orange hat,

that looks so great

on the head of a cute little red haired girl!

So, off to the fabric store
... just to browse...

But then something went all crazy at the fabric store...

Besides finding
this perfect fabric
(with little orange flowers)

Which I made into this dress

that goes so well with the orange hat

that looks so great

on the head of a cute little red haired girl!

I found these!

More lovely fabrics
(with orange flowers, stripes and solids)

that look so great with the dress

made out of the perfect fabric
(with little orange flowers)

that goes with the orange hat

that looks great on the head of a cute little red haired girl!

Named Sophia!

Why oh why,



A cute little red haired girl

...named Sophia!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tipi Summer

This summer has, quite frankly, been a busy and stressful one.
I haven't had time or energy to keep up with this blog,
so for now I'm going to show the highlight of the summer.

Without going into too great a depth,
let's just say that the economy has taken its toll
on a number of my family members.
When livelihoods are lost and threatened,
it also takes a toll on health and peace of mind.

We are a close family,
and we support each other as much as possible.
The burdens are shared as much as possible.

The main summer event for us
was when we gathered to celebrate our Mother's Birthday.

To recap a little bit,
in past posts I've touched on my mother's heritage.
Her family has a rich
American Indian heritage.
Some of our forebears came from the Shawnee Indian Tribe
located in the mid-west states of Ohio and West Virginia.

My Mother takes great pride in her heritage.
She has attempted to teach her children and grandchildren
the "old ways" of knowledge.
She is an amazing storehouse of knowledge in
old ways and lifestyles of her heritage.

7 years ago my father bought her a Tipi
The family spent a summer vacation painting it and putting it up for her.
But over the years, the weather took its toll
and the Tipi began to disintegrate,
so this summer he bought her a new one.

Our summer vacation was again spent
painting and putting up the new Tipi.

First, the artwork/design must be decided on,
and drawn onto the canvas
Its a very involved process...
Its drawn on the half circle Tipi canvas.
It must be carefully measured and planned out.

Fortunately, we have very creative and experienced people in the family.

The artwork was drawn by my youngest son,
who, I'm proud to say, is an amazing artist!
Actually all my sons are very artistic (:

My Mother has given each family member a name.
The names are based on personality traits
and meanings that she has carefully chosen.
And each name is also depicted by a particular
character or icon image that coincides with it.

The painting process...

This part of the process took us 3 days
of working from early morning until there was no light at the end of the day.
We used exterior latex paints,
since it weathers well and is bright and sharp when applied to the canvas.

One of my nephews and a brother,
(one who is an engineer and the other a building contractor)
did all the measuring and figuring as to where each drawing
was to sit on the canvas so that when the Tipi is erected,
all the paintings will sit perfectly around its sides.

The hard work begins with EVERYONE taking part
We had 26 family members,
and each person had a part to play.
Almost everyone, except the small children, did some painting.

The paintings tell stories

Such as...
"She who gathers and keeps the Tribe"
wraps her protective arms around the tribe

"Man who keeps watch," "Warrior with big heart," and even
"Little Woman of great courage"
ride on the canvas.

"Woman who teaches to change lives"
"Seed Sow-er," "Rain," "Dark Eyed Junco,
"Morning Dove" and many many others gather here

Faceless Guardians stand watch on each side of the entrance

Mom and Dad are each depicted at the top on each side of the entrance
as American Eagles

While the painting was being done,
the place where the Tipi was to be erected
had to be slightly raised,
then leveled and graveled.
This is probably the most important part,
because it must be perfectly level,
with the edges having perfect drainage.

Then the poles are set into place.

It starts with the 3 main tripod poles
These must be perfectly balanced,
because they will literally hold the entire weight of the Tipi.
The entrance faces east.

After the 3 are in place,
the remaining poles are placed at exact intervals
to form a perfect circle.

The Tipi is very heavy.
It took all the men to carry and erect it

The painted Tipi canvas,
is attached to a type of kingpin pole
which is put into place on the cone of poles

Once in place, the canvas in unrolled around the poles

The front is pinned together with special wooden dowel-like needles
that are threaded through stitched slits in the front seam of the Tipi.

The whole process took the entire week of our stay,

As the sun was setting on the last evening of the last day,
we finally got it up...

not permanently stretched and anchored into place...
that part will be done by my Dad and brother after the rest of us have left.

But it was completed enough so that we could all gather inside,
as my Mother performed the ceremony of
we-wos-sa-kie "
Or (Eng) "Peace" on this place.

It is her place of peace.
She goes there every morning and evening.

A bundle of sage and other wild plants with particular meanings
are tied together, lit and touched to the four corners... north, south, east and west.

As you can see,
the eagles (the icons for Mom and Dad)
are at the top in a protective stance over the family.

The rest are positioned around the base

As we sat inside that evening,

it was an amazing feeling of unity for all of us.

After a most stressful year,
here we are,
a united family.

Come what may...
We will always have each other.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nuff said

Here are my littlies...

Amazing! The outfits fit!
Almost too perfectly...
they'll only get a few months use of out them

Oh well...
back to the sewing machine!

Truth be told,
as you can see

Miss Sophia is a ham for the camera!

just like her grandpa and daddy
Thus ... more pics of her!
(does it count that she's just so dang cute as well?)

Max is a wiggle worm
and hates to sit for more than 2 seconds

The bottom line is
I hated to leave them
can't wait to get back to see them again!

Its redundant to say,
but they grow up too fast

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ta Da!

Please bear with me just this once ...
while I toot my horn a little?

Let me just say...
My sister was born to sew!
I was not

Our Grandma came from Ohio
one summer to teach us both to sew...

My sister learned
I did not

She went on to make Tailoring her major in college
Not me

She made all our clothes,
both hers and mine,
from the age of 12 (15 for me since I'm the oldest)
Not me

I was way too busy,
out riding my horse
or motorcycles with my boyfriend
Not her!

She was in sewing
And thanks to my dear sister,
I always had the latest style
because she made them for me

Oh, I knew hooooowwww to sew,
but I really disliked sitting that long
And I always had to rip seams
She never did


So perhaps you can allow me this one gloating time
to say

"Knock on wood!"

So here is the fabric from my last post
all sewn up into a dress for Sophia's 3rd Birthday

And these two matching outfits
for Sophia and Max

Its his first birthday!

Yippee! They're done!
...and I fly out to see them for 3 days!
I'm one happy Nami today!